Applied sciences

Zeszyty Naukowe Instytutu Gospodarki Surowcami Mineralnymi Polskiej Akademii Nauk

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Zeszyty Naukowe Instytutu Gospodarki Surowcami Mineralnymi Polskiej Akademii Nauk | 2017 | Nr 98 |

Abstract

Work is being carried out on possibilities of limiting the content of mercury in hard coal products by gravity concentration of run-of-mine coal in the Branch of the Institute of Mechanized Construction and Rock Mining in Katowice and on the Faculty of Energy and Fuels of the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow. Under domestic industrial conditions, gravity concentration is carried out with heavy medium liquids and in jigs. Preliminary - pilot studies have shown the possibility of mercury removal also by using the dry deshaling method involving vibratory air separators. Mercury is mainly found in the pyrite and the rubble formed by the mineral carbon, but also in the organic carbon. Some of it is located in layers of coal roof fields, which in the course of their exploitation go to coal. The mercury removal efficiency during the gravity concentration process will depend on the decomposition of the listed components in the density fractions. The paper presents the results of investigations of total mercury and total sulphur content in the separated coal fractions from four mines. These contents were determined in fractions: –1.5 g/cm3 (conventionally clean coal – concentrate), 1.5–1.8 g/cm3 (conventionally middlings) and +1.8 g/cm3 (conventionally rock – waste). The results are summarized in Tables 3–5 and in Charts 1–4. Conversely, graphs 5-8 show the relationship between mercury content and total sulphur content in the tested coal samples. The study, which can be called a preliminary analysis of the susceptibility of the coals to gravity concentration, showed that the dry deshaling method on the vibratory air separators would allow significant amounts of mercury accumulated in the middlings and waste fractions to be removed.

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Abstract

In the processes of coal mining, preparation and combustion, the rejects and by-products are generated. These are, among others, the rejects from the coal washing and dry deshaling processes as well as the coal combustion by-products (fly ash and slag). Current legal and industry regulations recommend determining the content of mercury in them. The regulations also define the acceptable content of mercury. The aim of the paper was to determine the mercury content in the rejects derived from the coal cleaning processes as well as in the combustion by-products in respect of their utilization. The mercury content in the representative samples of the rejects derived from the coal washing and dry deshaling processes as well as in the coal combustion by products derived from 8 coal-fired boilers was determined. The mercury content in the rejects from the coal washing process varied from 54 to 245 μg/kg, (the average of 98 μg/kg) and in the rejects from the dry deshaling process it varied from 76 to 310 μg/kg (the average of 148 μg/kg). The mercury content in the fly ash varied from 70 to 1420 μg/kg, (the average of 567 μg/kg) and in the slag it varied from 8 to 58 μg/kg (the average of 21 μg/kg). At the moment, in light of the regulations from the point of view of mercury content in the rejects from the coal preparation processes and in the coal combustion by-products, there are no significant barriers determining the way of their utilization. Nevertheless, in the future, regulations limiting the maximum content of mercury as well as the acceptable amount of leachable mercury may be introduced. Therefore, preparing for this situation by developing other alternative methods of using the rejects and by-products is recommended.

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Abstract

The paper presents the results of the energy analysis of the conversion of solar radiation energy into electrical energy in Polish weather conditions. The effect of sunlight and working temperature on the photovoltaic module on its power curve P = f(U) is shown. STC and NOCT conditions are described for which the manufacturers specify the parameters of the photovoltaic modules. The manufacturers of photovoltaic panels should give the PPV = f(E) characteristic for the different values of the operating temperature of the modules. An analysis of the economic efficiency of a photovoltaic power plant investment of 1 MWp taking the current legal regulations for the three variants into account was presented. Variant I – the investor benefits from the support of public aid of operational only, Variant II – the investor benefits from the support of public aid for investment in the amount of PLN 1 million, Variant III – the investor benefits from the support of public aid for investment in the amount of PLN 2 million. For all variants, indicators for assessing the economic effectiveness of the investment and the value of the auction price from the maximum price to the price at which the project loses its profitability are determined.

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Abstract

In this article, the contribution of renewable energy sources (RES) to the worldwide electricity production was analyzed. The scale of development and the importance of RES in the global economy as well as the issues and challenges related to variability of these sources were studied. In addition, the chemical conversion of excess energy to renewable methanol has been presented. The European Union regulations and targets for the years 2020 and 2030 concerning greenhouse gases reduction were taken into consideration. These EU restrictions exact the further development of renewable energy sources, in particular, the improvement of their efficiency which is closely related to economics. Moreover, as a part of this work, energy storage were described as one of the ways to increase the competitiveness of renewable energy sources with respect to conventional energy. A method for the conversion of carbon dioxide separated from high-carbon industries with hydrogen obtained by the over-production of green energy were described. The use of methanol in the chemical industry and global market have been reviewed and thus an increasing demand was observed. Additionally, the application of renewable methanol as fuels, in pure form and after a conversion of methanol to dimethyl ether and fatty acid methyl esters has been discussed. Hence, the necessity of modifying car engines in order to use pure methanol and its combination with petrol also was analyzed.

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Abstract

One of the most important business areas of the company is the management of working capital. Energy companies that produce electricity and heat are the main consumers of steam coal, so their decision concerning stock levels is a major determinant of supply schedules. These decisions depend on legal and technical requirements as well as economic aspects. The seasonality of coal consumption jointly with pre-purchase costs and storage costs has a straight impact on delivery scheduling in a parabolic way. There is a divergence in expectations regarding delivery schedules among the coal market participants (energy, mining, transport companies). The purpose of this article is to present the concept of pricing of steam coal and transport service on the Polish market, assuming the use of price incentives, resulting in delivery scheduling during the year. The article presents selected theoretical content in the field of coal logistics and working capital management in the company, the expectations of the steam coal market participant regarding delivery schedules have been identified. The proposed concept of pricing steam coal and transport service should be discussed further in scientific and expert work.

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Abstract

Nowadays, actions allowing for a reduction of anthropogenic mercury emission are taken worldwide. Great emphasis is placed on reducing mercury emission from the processes of energochemical coal conversion, mainly from the coal combustion processes. One of the methods which enable a reduction of anthropogenic mercury emission is the removal of mercury from coal before its conversion. It should be pointed out that mercury in hard coal may occur both in the organic and mineral matter. Therefore, a universal method should allow for the removal of mercury, combined in both ways, from coal. In the paper, a concept of the hybrid mercury removal process from hard coal was presented. The idea of the process is based on the combination of the coal cleaning process using wet or dry methods (first stage) and the thermal pretreatment process at a temperature in the range from 200 to 400 °C (second stage). In the first stage, a part of mercury occurring in the mineral matter is removed. In the second stage, a part of mercury occurring in the organic matter as well as in some inorganic constituents characterized by a relatively low temperature of mercury release is removed. Based on the results of the preliminary research, the effectiveness of the decrease in mercury content in coal in the hybrid process was estimated in the range from 36 to 75% with the average at the level of 58%. The effect of the decrease in mercury content in coal is much more significant when mercury content is referred to a low heating value of coal. So determined, the effectiveness was estimated in the range from 36 to 75% with the average at the level of 58%.

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Abstract

The paper presents selected issues related to the development of international coal markets. World consumption of coal dropped for the second year in a row in 2016, primarily due to lower demand from China and the U S. The share of coal in global primary energy consumption decreased to 28%. World coal production accounted to 3.66 billion toe and it was lower by 6.2% when compared to the previous year. More than 60% of this decline took place in China. The decline in global production was more than four times higher than the decrease in consumption. The sufficiency of world resources of coal are estimated at 153 years – that is three times more than the sufficiency of oil and gas resources. After several years of decline, coal prices increased by 77% in 2016. The current spot prices are at the level of $80/t and are close to the 2014 prices. In the European market, after the first half of the year, coal prices reached the level of around 66% higher than in the same period of the last year. The average price in the first half amounted to PLN 12.6/GJ, which is close to the 2012 prices. The share of spot trade in the total purchase amount accounted to approx. 20%. Prices in futures contracts can be estimated on the basis of the Japan-Australia contracts prices and prices in supplies to power plants located in Germany. On average, the prices in supplies to these power plants were higher by approximately 9% in the years 2010–2016 and prices in Australia – Japan contracts were 12% higher than CIF ARA prices in 2017. Global energy coal trade reached about 1.012 billion tonnes in 2016. In 2019, a decline by 4.8% is expected primarily due to the expected reduction in the demand in major importing countries in Asia.

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Abstract

In the process of extraction and enrichment of coal waste, considerable quantities of waste material are produced, mainly the gangue and coal sludge, considered as waste or raw material. The main directions of the management development of the waste rock are the production of aggregates, the production of energy products and the liquidation works in hard coal mines and the filling of excavations. The paper proposes the extension of these activities to the use of waste material. The possibility of using aggregates or extractive waste to fill open-pit excavations has been proposed, also in areas within the reach of groundwater and the possibility of building insulation layers of waste material and the production of mixtures of hard coal sludge and sewage sludge to produce material with good energy properties. The analysis was based on the author’s own research and literature data related to selected parameters of waste material. This paper presents our own preliminary studies on the amount of combustion heat and the calorific value of coal sludge combined with other wastes such as sewage sludge. The proposed methods and actions are part of the current directions of development, but they allow the extension of the scope of use of both extractive waste and products produced on the basis of gangue or coal sludge. Due to the frequent lack of the stable composition of these materials, their current properties should be assessed each time before attempting to use them. The fact that it is important to continue research to promote existing economic use and to seek new activities or methods has been concluded.

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Abstract

CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) technology is one of the methods that limit the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. However, the high cost of capturing CO2 in this technology is a major obstacle to the implementation of this solution by power plants. The reduction of costs is expected primarily on the side of the capture and separation of CO2 from flue/ industrial gas. The article presents the financial performance of the most popular amine technology (MEA) against mesoporous material about MCM-41 structure obtained from fly ash, impregnated with polyethyleneimine (PEI), for CCS installations. The study was conducted for an investment comprising three key components that provide a full value chain in CCS validation (capture, transport and storage). The mineralogical studies and determination of the physicochemical properties of mesoporous material produced from waste materials such as fly ash allowed us to identify the best class sorbents of MCM-41, which can be used in CO2 capture technologies. Developing an innovative relationship not only allows 100% of CO2 to be removed but also reduces operating costs (OPEX), primarily including energy by 40% and multiple material costs relative to amine mixtures such as MEA.

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Abstract

In spite of technological, logistic and economic difficulties, interest in renewable energy sources in the world is consistently increasing. This trend is also observed in Poland, mainly due to the urgent need to tackle the problem of climate change, which is caused by the increasing concentration of gaseous pollutants in the atmosphere. The paper presents a short script of the issue of estimating renewable energy resources in Poland in the context of creating local low carbon economy plans at the level of municipalities/counties where RES sources should be taken into account. The author proposed an individual approach to estimate the potential of RES, taking the local conditions and the short characteristics of the small and medium companies sector in Poland into account. These companies have a great application potential to increase the share of renewable energies and to improve energy efficiency in their business. The actions, which are taken by the Ministry of Energy in the field of civil energy development, enhancing local energy security and the sustainable development of renewable energy resources support the development of energy clusters covering one district or five municipalities. In the article, the author presents data on the number of companies possessing a concession for generating electricity in RES installations in the power range from 40 kW to 200 kW. These companies can largely be the nucleus for creating a local cluster in which microgrids will be a key element.

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Abstract

The aspect of climate change in the modern world is one of the broader issues of global social and economic policy. Climate change implies a modification of the business environment, especially the energy sector. Any change in the conditions in which the company operates is the cause, the effect of which becomes its financial situation during the relevant period. Therefore, climate policy will play an increasingly important role in shaping the energy of the future. At present, energy companies are taking measures to process primary energy from fossil fuels, in particular coal, in an efficient and environmentally friendly way. The article presents the impact of international climate agreements on the energy and coal industries. The latest agreement signed in Paris defines a global plan to minimize the dangerous effects of global warming on the climate arising from carbon emissions. The most important outcome of the agreement was the unification of many countries with a common goal. The European Union played a key role in signing the first legally binding agreement in the world, which is also a forerunner in the carbon trading system: EU ETS (European Union Emission Trading Scheme) The US-based CO2 emissions trading system has become a model for the European Commission. In addition, the article highlights the correlation between the EUA ( European Union Allowances) and “ARA coal” prices as well as the role of the coal market in price formation of emission allowances.

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Abstract

Observing the situation in the power industry it is easy to see that there are very deep changes in it. They rely primarily on moving away from conventional energy to renewable energy. This is particularly the case for energy in the European Union. Europe strives to be a forerunner in renewable technologies and a leader in the fight against global warming. The mining industry is being abolished and coal-fired power stations are being displaced by renewable energy sources. This situation is not only a result of EU directives but also of grassroots social initiatives inspired by environmental groups. The new lignite openings are being blocked, due to the lack of public acceptance, and the construction of conventional power plants. They do not help economic arguments for the development of energy based on coal, lignite, fuel that is significantly cheaper than the other, or to provide potential investors with the creation of new jobs. Also, coal investments are suspended in other regions of the world. CoalSwarm coal research shows that 2016 saw a dramatic fall in the amount of coal investment in the world. Even in China and India, where most of the coal industry has developed in recent years, about 100 investments have been suspended. The situation in the US is unclear. Although Barack Obama signed the Paris Agreement, current United States President Donal Trump has spoken out about this agreement and in numerous speeches and is eager to return to the dominant role of coal in the American economy. Poland still maintains the carbon structure of the power industry, but the Minister of Energy has announced that the new block at the Ostrołęka power plant will be the last coal-fired power plant to be built in Poland. This statement allows us to believe that there may be a return to Poland’s energy policy in the nearest future, and the long-awaited document, Poland’s energy policy until 2050, will determine the direction of change for the coming years.

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Abstract

Over the past decade, the growing demand for imported coal from consumers (mainly Asian) coincided with supply constraints on the part of major suppliers. The sequence of events is referred to as force majeure. There were many events in the exporting countries, mainly including the cyclone and floods in Australia (Queensland, the world’s largest hard coking coal mining region). Imbalance between supply and demand causes commodity prices to be subject to cyclical changes, but in recent years the frequency and dynamics of these changes in the international metallurgical market (hard coking coal, semi-soft coking coal, PCI coal) has been extremely high. China, the world’s largest producer and consumer of coking coal, played a leading role in these events. Political action by the Chinese authorities regarding their domestic mining and metallurgical industries and the coke-chemical industry has made the country dethrone Japan since 2013 and has become a global leader in metallurgical coal imports. The rise of China’s importance in coal trading has become an important benchmark for monitoring market trends and benchmarking benchmarks. The market has become more bipolar and CFR China’s prices (in addition to Australia’s FOB prices). The paper describes the path of pricing mechanism changes in international trade contracts for metallurgical coal, against the background of market conditions that generate these changes.

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Abstract

Natural gas plays a significant role in the energy structure of many world economies. Many of them are highly dependent on domestic resources exploitation, other on its deliveries from non-domestic directions. In Poland its importance was relatively low, but in recent years we can observe an increase of interest in this raw material. The aim of the paper is to present the role of natural gas as a primary energy carrier and to determine its impact on the sustainable development and energy security of Poland. The role of gas in the European Union restrictions and development of the domestic economy is also a point. Theoretical deliberations are focused on the most important features of the Polish natural gas market. The article presents the most important national regulations concerning the development of the gas sector in Poland. The amount of natural gas resources are shown as well as indigenous production of the fuel and imports, including the directions from which natural gas is imported. Both political and geographical aspects of the directions of natural gas acquisition are discussed. The level and potential abilities of the diversification of the natural gas supply are discussed. The importance of gas storages in underground gas repositories is underlined. The authors point to the increase in the diversification of raw materials in the structure of electricity, heat production and the transition to pro-ecological fuels.

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Abstract

The paper presents the idea of a prosumer energy cloud as a new service dedicated to electricity prosumers. The implementation of the cloud should generate a number of benefits in the following areas: settlements between prosumer and electricity supplier, the development of distributed energy sources in microprocessors and the development of e-mobility. From the prosumer point of view, the proposed idea of a prosumer cloud of energy is dedicated to the virtual storage of energy excess generated in the micro-installation. Physical energy storage in the cloud means recording the volume of electricity introduced into the electricity system from the prosumer’s microprocessors. It is assumed that the energy equivalent to the volume registered in the prosumer cloud can be used at any time at any point in the network infrastructure of the National Power System. Any point of network infrastructure shall be understood as any locally located point of connection of an electricity consumer provided with access authorization. From the point of view of the power grid operators, the idea of a prosumer energy cloud is a conceptual proposition of a service dedicated to the new model of the power system functioning, taking future conditions concerning the significant development of prosumer energy and e-mobility into account. In this concept, electricity would be treated as a commodity only to partial physical storage and above all to trade. In this model a key aspect would be virtual energy storage, that is, the commercial provision by the cloud operator (trading company) of any use of the electricity portfolio by its suppliers. It should be stressed, however, that in the prosumer’s energy cloud functioning, a significant factor would be the cost of guarantees of the use of energy by prosumers at any time and point of connection to the network. This results in the need of taking the presence of certain market risks, both volumetric and cost incurred by clouds operator, which can be minimized by passing a portion of the accumulated volume of generated energy to the cloud operator into account. It should be emphasized that this article presents the first phase of the development of the concept of prosumer energy cloud. However, it is planned to be expanded by the following stages, which include the possibility of controlling and supervising the operation of prosumer installations such as: sources, receivers and physical energy stores, e.g. home energy storage or batteries installed in electric vehicles. Ultimately, it is assumed that the proposed prosumer energy cloud will be outside of the storage of energy (virtual and partly physical) and that aggregation of prosumer resources will create new possibilities for their use to provide a variety of regulatory services, including system ones.

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Abstract

With the upcoming implementation of the centralized capacity market in Poland, capacity auctions will be organized where domestic power companies will offer their available capacities. It is assumed that bidding will be auctioned according to the so called descending clock auction system with uniform-price (Pay-as-Clear), which will lead to the market equilibrium price. Some analysts, however, are of the view that it is more appropriate to organize capacity auctions in the Pay-as-Bid formula, as this system should lead to lower prices that those of Pay-as-Clear, hence lower costs of capacity purchase. However, this opinion does not confirm the practice – theoretical considerations do not take into account such important factors as the behavior of market players and the tendency of bidders to accept a higher risk or the lack of access to advanced analyses, and thus better information for all market participants. This paper presents a hypothetical calculation of the prices in the centralized capacity market using Monte Carlo simulations. The results of the study confirm that the price level for the Pay-as-Bid system, due to the asymmetry of information and the level of concentration of the power generation sector in Poland would lead to higher prices than for the Pay-as-Clear system on average by approximately 2.5%. The implementation of the PAB system would, therefore, be less efficient to electricity consumers.

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Abstract

Mine drainage and discharge of salt waters into water bodies belong to main environmental issues, which must be appropriately addressed by the underground coal mining industry. The large area of exploited and abandoned mine fields in the Upper Silesia Coal Basin, as well as the geological structure of the rock mass and its hydrogeological conditions require the draining and discharge of about 119 million m3/yr of mine waters. Increasing the depth of mining and the necessity of protection of mines against water hazard result in increased amounts of chlorides and sulphates in the mine waters, even by decreasing the total coal output and the number of mines. The majority of the salts are being discharged directly into rivers, partly under control of salt concentration, however from the point of the view of environment protection, the most favorable way of their utilization would be technologies allowing the bulk use of saline waters. Filling of underground voids represents a group of such methods, from which the filling of goaves (cavings) is the most effective. Due to large volume of voids resulting from the extraction of coal and taking the numerous limitations of this method into account, the potential capacity for filling reaches about 17.7 million m3/yr of cavings and unnecessary workings. Considering the limited availability of fly ash, which is the main component of slurries being in use for the filling of voids, the total volume of saline water and brines, which could be utilized, has been assessed as 3,5–6,5 million m3/yr

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Editorial office

Editorial Board
  • Editor-in-Chief: Krzysztof Galos
  • Deputy Editor-in-Chief: Lidia Gawlik (section: Mineral resources management)
  • Editorial Secretary: Zbigniew Grudziński (section: Fuels and energy)
  • Deputy Editorial Secretary: Zenon Pilecki (section: Mining and geoengineering)
  • Statistical Editor: Jacek Mucha
Publishing Committee
  • Emilia Rydzewska – linguistic editor (Polish)
  • Michelle Atallah – linguistic editor (English)
  • Barbara Sudoł – technical editor

Contact

Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences
J. Wybickiego 7A, 31-261 Kraków,
Phone: (+48) 12 632 33-00, Fax: +48 12 632 35-24,
Email: lidia.gawlik@min-pan.krakow.pl

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